Reality Check

Last night, in talking with a fellow who I work with as a guide and mentor, I was faced with a reality check. It was a reminder, and a mini-awakening.
Seated in the room with me was a friend of long standing, a doctor, who through abuse of substance and things that can go with it, has suffered serious brain damage. While his wife is out of town, he stays with us.
During the phone conversation, the discussion basic stuff, accepting that we are powerless over certain things in our life, and by fighting the powerless aspect and repeating behaviors, our lives become unmanageable.
During the conversation, I looked up, and was struck but the huge irony.
Here I was on the phone with a highly trained white collar professional, a man who serves others well in a well known profession. Sitting in the room with me was a doctor, an award winner in his profession who had lost nearly all but his life to substance abuse. And the conversation focused on a very basic to me. If I chose to use my addictions of choice, why would I expect a different outcome than what all my past “research” had indicted would happen.
It is funny how insane acts and behaviors can be a part of the lives of otherwise high performing, well educated, people. Simply put, it is more often than we realise, and I was one of those people.
I have an anniversary coming up that will mark 14 years on a journey free from addictions. It is a miracle, and I certainly have had a tremendous amount of help along the way. The biggest change in my life is due to a “spiritual awakening”, and no, I did not get religion.
14 years ago it became abundantly clear to me through a series of events, that if I did not make major changes, all that was near and dear to me would go. Little did I know that day that what was gone at that moment was me. I was not healthy from a mental hygiene point of view, and was spiritually bankrupt. My self-esteem was shot, and I did things to please others, in part to hide what was inside of me and in part to validate my existence.
A journey began, and through the help of outside experts, I learned very quickly that if things were going to change, I had to want them to change just for me, be prepared to do whatever it took to find who I was, particularly to re-find the good within, be honest on a daily basis (and in particular to quit lying to myself), to open up to others and realize that I was not responsible to run the world, that there was something bigger than me that was the director of the universe, and my help was not required. What a start to a journey.
The first real progress came when I fully accepted my situation and bought in to the results of the research I had done. I surrendered to the facts. When I did certain things, most of the time, I would end up causing some chaos for me and on many occasions, for others. What relief in accepting and surrendering to facts. I was then ready to go on what has proved to be a very interesting journey full of challenges, change and satisfaction. A journey that on a daily basis so far has kept me from destructive old behaviors, and has allowed me to really like who I have become. If I continue, I know, as a person, I will continue to grow and improve.
So there I sat last night. My intelligent cohort on the phone, my doctor friend in the room. Both thinking that just maybe they could safely turn to their addiction of choice. My phone friend facing all kinds of new adversities after being dealt with by the court systems a year ago, and my visitor not able to function independently on a daily basis. Is this insanity?
This was truly a reality check for me; not only about how I lead my own life, but it reconfirmed what a part of my purpose is in life work, to try and help others find a better way.

Author's Bio: 

Certified Life Coach, Addiction Recovery, Results,